The sun was beating down on the back of his arms. Sweat gathered at the base of his neck, sticking the bottom of the beekeeping veil. He hated wearing the full getup and since he was only taking a few pictures… it wasn’t going to kill him. He leaned forward, the smell of fermentation giving away to the freshness of the honey inside. He grabbed three or four shots, his finger dipping into a blob of honey as he stood up to close the hive. Justin rubbed the pads of his fingers together. Slide, stick. Slide, stick.

The years peeled back the white surface of the hive where honey caked along the edges of the opening blended into her pale complexion. His fingers gripping against her. His tongue rolled over her. Waves of warm, sticky sweet lapping against him. He would wait until there was nothing left inside. Years of passion stored up – moments, memories, feelings. He would stay there, buried between her thighs as long as she could take it, and then some. 

When she was finally breathless, aching for sleep and hydration, he would slide back onto his knees. A large sloppy smile spread across his face. Lifting the back of his hand, he would soak up what he had eased out of her. When she would stand, wobbling like a newborn doe, he would wait for her to walk away to watch the wetness glisten off her thighs. 

Within moments he would dig out an old glass honey jar. She was warm honey. She needed to be preserved. Only when his fingers were scrapped clean – or when he heard the sounds of her footprints on the floor – would he close the lid, returning it underneath his dresser. 

A burned flashed across his forearm. He blinked. The sunlight breaking in through the walls of his memory. He squinted, looking down at his arm. A large red welt was taking shape on his arm. His eyes shifted lower, amused by the throbbing against his jeans, Justin removed his veil as he turned and headed toward the house. 

Boxes still lined the kitchen and living room. In large strides, he buzzed by them, the boxes blurring into the walls. Within five steps he was at the top of the stairs, in a straight line for his bedroom. Justin tossed his cell phone onto a pile of clothes growing on the floor. Lowering himself onto his knees he reached under the back, left leg of his dresser. His breath pulled in, tightening his chest, as he pulled the small bottle out. 

Justin walked over the edge of his bed. Looking past the reflection of his hazel eyes into the glass, he wondered if it would be the same. Justin leaned forward placing the glass on the corner of his night stand. Still rubbing the honey between the tips of his fingers, Justin eased off his pants with his other hand. The honey felt warm against his flesh. Sliding forward, sticking to a stop. His head turned facing over his left shoulder. Justin picked up the glass jar from his nightstand. Holding it tighter, he saw in the periphery of his vision the knuckle of his proximal inter-phalangeal joint turning white. He wanted to know if there was anything tangible left of her inside. He wanted to mix it with the honey, with himself. He wanted to, but he wouldn’t. He had other plans for that jar, for its contents, ultimately for her. 

Her long, yellowish blonde hair reflected its brown undertones as she walked back from the bathroom. Justin could see her nipples peeking through the weighted curls. She raised her eyebrow as he continued. Sometimes she would help. Most of the time though he would bring her close to him until she sat straddling his arm. Kneeling there on his bed, Justin would lift his arm lightly pitching her forward closer to his face. She would lick herself off of him as they kissed. It was the moment Justin waited for. Before he could say anything, her butt would be lifted slightly off her heels as she leaned forward. Her hair sliding forward, off her shoulders – the tips dancing around his thighs. 

Justin felt himself release. A series of clicks followed by a loud grumble came from the house as the air conditioner kicked on. Cool wind blew across his body reminding him of how far away he was from those moments ten years ago. He looked once more at the bottle still clutched in his hand. Justin squeezed his eyes shut. White rage coursed over him. He forced himself to lower his arm, releasing the glass jar onto the bed. 

He cleaned up after himself, and headed back downstairs. The jar tucked securely into the crook of his arm. Grabbing his phone, Justin headed over to his work station. It was Sunday afternoon, he wasn’t taking orders today, but needed his printer. His machine whirled to life as he carefully placed the old honey jar onto the desk. With little difficulty he printed out three of the pictures he took earlier. Leaving a blurry, out of focus picture on his phone. After the last picture was printed, Justin opened the internet and found a cute page border of bees and honey. He printed that out as well. 

Justin grumbled to himself as the page border printed onto photo paper he had forgotten to remove from the printer. He looked at it. There was something about the glossy texture of the paper that made the honey shine. Grabbing an exacto knife he cut the inside of the page out salvaging just the border. 

He glued it to a plain piece of paper. Immediately Justin turned it over and glued his favorite picture of the hive onto the back. The other two hive pictures he brushed off to the side. As he waited for his handmade stationary to dry, Justin bundled up the small, glass jar. It fit snug in the packaging he had custom fit the day before. He filled out the note card, laid it on top of the jar, closed up the box, and left it on his front porch for the pick up he scheduled earlier. Walking into his kitchen, Justin made his way right to the fridge. He cracked open a cold one and began unpacking curious as to what other personal treasures he would find buried amongst this regular stuff. 

Lissandra looked at the box only long enough to see her name. It was a hard name for others to spell and say, but it was easily identified, especially for her. Bringing the package with her into the kitchen, she ran through a list of things she recently ordered. She shrugged to herself, as her husband came up behind her. His large hands wrapped around her waist. 

“Anything exciting? Something for me,” Gregg laughed into her ear. 

“Not this time, at least not that I think,” she said, leaning back into her husband. 

“Well, let’s find out,” he said. Pulling back, Gregg turned and grabbed the scissors from the kitchen drawer behind them. He handed her the scissors as he walked to the other side of the counter. 

Dragging the edge of the blade across the tape, Lissandra crinkled her nose. There was a picture of a bee hive. 

“Did we order honey?” 

“I didn’t, and I don’t remember you mentioning it, but…” Gregg’s voice trailed off as a smile broadened across his face. 

Lissandra stuck her tongue out at him, “hardy, har-har.” Reaching into the box she pulled out the picture. As she turned it over she saw what appeared to be an empty glass jar, the kind used for honey and preserves, nestled in the box. She read the card to herself, dropping it on the countertop moments later. 

“Babe,” Gregg said, standing up as he reached forward for the card. “What is it,” he asked, not waiting for an answer before beginning to read the inscription. 

“Don’t touch anything else, Lissy,” Gregg said. Already the card had been dropped back onto the island counter. His cell phone pulled up to his ear. 

“Gregg,” she said softly. 

“I’m calling the captain.” 

“Gregg, I…” 

Lissandra’s knees weakened. Too much light and air swirled around her head. For a moment, hazel eyes appeared before her, but were gone as her body fell to the ground. As she heard Gregg’s voice fading into the darkness, Lissandra swore she heard the word, “honey.” 

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